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  • 작성자 사진Yang Ha-yoon

[Society] Things that are Truly Necessary to Prevent Sex Crimes

No.159 / Sep 5, 2022

On July 15, a student fell from the third story of a building on the Inha University campus. According to the police, who immediately opened an investigation into the incident, the offender tried to forcibly have sex with her. He is accused of attempting to push her out of the window when she resisted. The student, who was reportedly discovered more than two hours after the fall, was taken to a hospital but unfortunately succumbed during treatment. Following this tragedy, which sent shockwaves through Korea, voices saying inadequate sex education and weak punishment are to blame for the rampant sex crimes in the country are rising once again.

Internet development is not only providing different avenues to criminals—for example, digital sex crimes are rising—but also leaving more age groups, particularly the younger generations, vulnerable; therefore, proper sex education is essential. Korea’s current gender education policy is inadequate; it excludes education directly related to human rights, such as self-defense or gender sensitivity, simply because it is embarrassing to explain it to students using the necessary words. This undermines students’ sexual rights. In addition, topics under discussion in recent times, such as gender discrimination, stereotypes about sexual roles, digital sexual violence, and the discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) and community do not even reflect in the curriculum. Kim Dae-yu, a professor at the Graduate School of Education at Kyonggi University, says that Korea’s gender education standard was established after consulting conservative and Christian groups. Today’s sex education teaches that men are dominated by sexual desire and perpetuates incorrect and unfair notions that women are to blame for sexual problems. Such ideas deepen the gender conflict. Sex education should not focus solely on the dichotomy of men and women, because it is not right to encourage students to develop a discriminatory perspective about their own sexual orientation and gender identity. That is why, UNESCO guidelines recommend comprehensive sex education based on sexuality.

Poor sex education, however, is not the only reason for recurring sex crimes. The judiciary argues that the punishment imposed on sex offenders is within the scope set by the Sentencing Committee, and that it is impossible to hand down a sentence that exceeds that scope. However, Seung Jae-hyun, a researcher at the Korean Institute of Criminology and Justice, says that the goal of sentencing standards is to ensure sound legal judgment and to make sure that judges do not base sentencing on the prevailing public sentiment; yet, most courts have been punishing sex offenders in keeping with the public’s perception of law. The reason that the punishment for sex offenders in Korea is low is that in Korea, precedents are referred to when making judgements, and there are not many precedents to refer to. In addition, there have been many cases of young sex offenders receiving a less severe punishment in Korea, with the judge saying the offender likely has a greater number of days to live than the number of days they already have and therefore cannot be punished harshly. Organizations working in this area should resolve these problems at the earliest to prevent tragedies such as the Inha University incident.


By Yang Ha-yoon, AG Reporter

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